When Cécile McLorin Salvant won the Thelonious Monk Competition in 2010, making serious waves in the jazz world, none other than the master crooner Kurt Elling was on the jury. Now, a decade later, the two perform in a double-bill event at the Michigan Theater. Both Salvant and Elling received major props in the 2019 Downbeat Critics Poll, winning respectively for “Female Vocalist of the Year” and “Male Vocalist of the Year” (Salvant also took away the top “Jazz Artist of the Year” honors). Elling, who performed at UMS as featured lead vocalist in Fred Hersch’s tribute to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass in 2005 and in a “love letter” to the beloved John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman recording in 2009, brings his quartet, and Salvant appears with her own ensemble for separate sets — and perhaps a collaborative finale.
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